While we all patiently await that elusive fountain of youth, we pass the time smearing on Lancome’s finest and skipping this week’s meals for the latest Sunday Reilly. But can you blame us? Our skin is the foundation. We can try to apply as many layers of primers or foundation as we’d like- but the truth is that if the core is flawed, it only gets worse and worse. That’s my main motivation to care for my skin- you know, that and the whole fact that I’m 21 and it’s all downhill from here so I’m clinging onto youth for dear life. With Blogmas here, I’m sure my skincare hoarding nature is going to come to light; so I figured it’s worth dedicating some time to talk you through my skin type. This can be a post I’ll refer to you regularly to understand my skin type and problem areas and whether you should bother reading anything I have to say about skincare- please read anything I have to say about skincare though, ok?
It all started with a bottle of Vaseline’s Cocoa Butter Body lotion. Yes, you read right. My misguided and far-too-lengthy beginning into the world of skincare was basically applying that body lotion to my face every morning night. *Shudders* doesn’t even begin to cover it. But let’s not spend too long on the trials and tribulations of a teenage Noha. For as long as I could remember I referred to my skin as oily, I’d overheard it mentioned on a TV show and decided the constant glossy nature of my skin could be explained by that rather than the fact that I USED BODY LOTION AS A FACE CREAM. My growth in knowledge happened overnight. With my exposure to and obsession with YouTube, I managed to educate myself. Next thing I knew, I owned a Nivea cleansing milk and morning and night cream, and of course a trusty Neutrogena deep clean cleanser and mask in one (yes, that one). 0 to 100 pretty quick if you ask me. I did my extensive research and diagnosed my skin as combination and breakout prone- it was onward and upwards from that point on.
Things have definitely progressed over the past 6 years from that moment. I still find myself with the same skin type- although over the years I have jumped a bit between oily and dry. More often than not I find myself back in the same spot- definitely combination, and extremely breakout prone. Over the years I’d say I almost constantly have new breakouts in rotation. As one disappears, another joins the party. For the past 5 years my forehead has remained completely clear- I think because I don’t overtreat it as much as I do the rest of my skin. My breakouts are mostly on my chin or on either cheek (never both at the same time, thank god). As most, I spent the first few years popping every pimple in sight- and I’m still guilty of waging war on a few even today. Everyone says it, and everyone is right; this is the worst thing you could possibly do. Because of it, I still suffer from old scarring to this day.
So here we are; a blank canvas with dry patches and oily patches, a bunch of acne scarring and the occasional angry zit. If you feel my struggle- we’ll get along just fine. I’d like to briefly touch on my skincare experience too. I’d almost say I’m more interested in skincare than makeup. As I started with, I genuinely believe that if I’m have a repetitive makeup problem then the solution isn’t to switch up products- but to go to the root of the issue and work on my skincare. The problem is that it never works for me. There’s been a rare few gems out of thousands that have actually done the job and helped my skin. But I’m constantly dropping hundreds on skincare and being disappointed. This is probably why I’m such a hoarder of it- I’m constantly confident that that one new release will be the answer to all my prayers; usually wrong.
Caroline Hirons’ blog is holy script as far as I am concerned. I trust her suggestions completely, and particularly her skincare routine guidelines here. I try to stick by this as strictly as possible- but let’s be real, I usually fail to do so. One thing I will say, is that I will never understand or relate to people that claim to be too tired to remove their makeup or cleanse some days. Without fail, there is no trace of makeup on my face by the time I’m in bed. I’m very strict about that. I double cleanse almost every night- even days that I don’t wear makeup. Aside from that, I’m very strict about toning and applying either a moisturizer or serum. I will put my hands up and admit to the fact that I don’t always stick to moisturizers- I just have yet to find one that actually does my skin some good. The serums and treatments are interchangeable but I will usually stick to one toner because they tend to be pretty strong- Biologique Recherche’s P50 for example. I apply lip masks and almond oil under my eyes every single night without fail too, I take that very seriously- swear by it. As for mornings, I will also cleanse and tone every morning. I then follow with either a moisturizer or an oil prior to my makeup. Finally, I’m a mask junkie. Overnight, sheets, clays, gels; you name it. I use one 3 times a week, at least. I swear by them- they’re the quickest fixes out there, if you use the right ones you’re guaranteed visible results as well as long term ones.
*finally takes a deep inhale* SO that’s all I have. Now that we’ve addressed every possible thing I could, and then some, I hope that everything will be a little clearer now. I know I’ve left you hanging by not mentioning the products I use for all the steps I’ve listed- but that’s because I intent to cover them in depth in the future. So followers, meet skin. Skin, meet followers.